"Create What You Like, Stay True to It " - Deepika Kochhar

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

A simple book nerd from the food heaven of Amritsar with a degree in literature , design and software! Yes all my life I was confused and had multiple interests as much like my page now. Same was my job profile equally varied and equally all over the place!

Started working with the local edition of Indian Express as early as eighth grade and was awarded for several papers on relations with Pakistan and as the youngest acting editor as well! Next was a PRO job with a with a tech company !

Followed by designing jewellery for a jewellery house and moving onto jewellery collaborations with several design houses and brands. And now adozeofsimplicity along with contributions for several digital magazines is the mouthpiece for most projects and causes I feel strongly about.

Because censorship and appropriateness can not curb the creative expression here!

2. When did you first decide that you wanted to create content and how did you start?

I started the page about eight years ago with some simple pics of nature and affirmations of positivity around us and some threads of simple people giving others a reason to smile without wanting anything in return .

I was not creating conscious content then but just sharing because then it was not as edgy and hashtag oriented and number oriented game!

3. Is vlogging and Instagram content creation a financially sustainable career?

Yes, social media is a big money and product churner if done right. Sarees happened by default to me and it instantly picked up and several brands took notice. Today influencer marketing is what most brands look for to target the mainstream which would be more inclined to buy products suggested by the relatable Instagrammer rather than a celebrity.

And also this is more affordable for brands and companies and they can reach a wider audience especially during and after the lockdown wherein the reach has increased since every bored person is scrolling through screen after screen of content!

Over the years many clothing jewellery shoe and household brands have approached and provided for sustainable barter system or monetary returns for suggesting their brands!infact travel also happened through this system only wherein some specific home stays or restaurants wanted to be highlighted and reviewed positively!

Infact my tie ups with food bloggers even widened the horizons for product photography and shout outs even more!

4. Who is your favorite creator and why?

Since my page has three streams to it travel and photography sarees and jewellery and of course asmileaday associated with social causes so likewise I have different choices (and yes that confused streak too)!

In travel and photography, my favourites would be @alan_schaller and @stevemccurryofficial. In fact it was the high point of my page when @stevemccurryofficial started following me !these are simple yet effective creators extremely knowledgeable in their craft and not utilizing the abundance of fake and gimmicky apps to enhance the natural process

In saree, my favorite quote be @vijayalakshmichhabra and @chinnadua ji both creating awareness about weaves and heritage and history of sarees which most of us had no knowledge about. There posts are equally informative and educative and aesthetic again without gimmicks.

In food photography which is a recent development (thanks to several successful collaborations ) I again admire the stark and simple work of @jullianne_medeiros.

And in social causes, there are well several pages that raise several issues and awareness though I like the fuss-free and to the point interface of @thebetterindia a lot!

The choices I guess are simple like me!

5. How and where do you find inspiration to churn out content? 

Simplicity is and will always be my only inspiration for creating content (though that’s not what I’m consciously doing).Simple images of forgotten trails and forts and magical places around us, simple clicks of people making an effort to bring that extra smile on someone's face, simple clicks of the daily magic around us!

I’m like a storyteller of common things and not a creator or an influencer or a photographer! I try to show what I feel and sometimes that can be a handicap as well!

6. What does your typical day look like?

My day starts early with a morning walk near the farmlands with constant clicking of dewdrops spring flowers bird feathers and flowing water(crazy I know)but that is essentially me time followed by my elixir—coffee(a huge cup )and insta stories (promoting my fellow photographers and saree women through the various hashtags)!

Then a big chunk of the day after breakfast is spent in my studio designing jewelry and reworking old pieces into wearable pieces is what I enjoy as a challenge the most! Post lunch it is mostly photoshoots since now thanks again to social media I do have either a promotion to shoot or a product shoot and some clients even who are in for personal shoots.

Once back home it’s family time and then posting on my page followed by an article or two to be written and later retiring with a book! Tv has never been a big presence and maybe once in 15-20 days on an extremely leisure day I might binge-watch a highly recommended series or movie!

7. Which is your favorite book and why? 

I don’t think I can ever say what my favourite book is since I’m a voracious reader who devours books ! They are my weakness(too much money spent buying them) and my strength(my best friend and life metre)!

But some books I can refer back to are “Mister God this is Anna” by fynn(pen name for Sydney Hopkins), “Forty Fules of Love” by Elif Shafak ,”pavilion of women “ by Pearl .s.buck and of course “this is not a book” by Keri Smith(art and book reunited with mental relaxation)!

8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring creators?

I doubt I’m the apt person to give advice but few things I like to mention are that create what you like then you shall be true to it. Also likes and comments can be bought yes but genuine love and appreciation makes up the effort you put in and drives you to do better.

Most of all engage and engage because if you make social media a place of genuine likes and appreciation then that is what you will get back!

Over the years I have come across some of the most genuine people and made innumerable friends through my page, people who now matter a lot in my life and yes this all is possible even in this fake number generated world if you are genuine!

- Deepika Kochhar, Writer

- Interviewed by Shilpy Sharan

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